By: Katrina Elsken, Okeechobee News
OKEECHOBEE — The public comment period at the Dec. 21 South Florida Water Management District meeting about the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir brought out emotions and some accusations. While the SFWMD meeting presented EAA reservoir alternatives that can be built on state-owned land, many in the audience were more concerned about State Sen. Joe Negron’s recent statements about obtaining more EAA land and expanding the footprint of the project.
“It’s extremely disheartening to hear that there is talk of additional land being used to build the reservoir,” said Tammy Jackson-Moore, with Guardians of the Glades.
“People in the Glades community have always known this particular issue was really about a land grab. We haven’t been fooled, but during the legislative session, we worked really, really hard to make sure that we had a seat at the table, and we came up with a compromise, that we thought when we left, it benefited and it was pleasing to everyone that was there.
“The ink was barely dry before we heard additional conversations about taking additional land, agricultural land, where people in the Glades communities work and make their livelihood. This is all being done without being part of the process. There is a public process that has to be followed, and these conversations about taking lands are being had without the public being involved…